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Q: I’m struggling with motivation this late in the season. Any tips for staying focused for my final race of the year?
A: These feelings are quite common for athletes who have been consistently training all year and are headed toward their final event. If you have one, turn to a coach, mentor or trusted advisor and share your thoughts with these like-minded individuals. Ask them to hold you accountable and make sure you “get out the door” each day. If you are not already doing so, track each training session so you see exactly what you did and note if you are skipping or cutting short too many swims, rides or runs.
I also recommend that athletes find a Masters swim group and work with them at least one or two days a week. Tell your lane mates and the coach on deck about your final race, and you might be surprised how they support you. Work to join a group run one day a week as this will not only add a social component, but will give you something to look forward to as you mark it on your calendar. There is a better chance of you attending that run session if you know you might let others down by not showing up. Since most long rides or bricks are done on the weekends, grab a training buddy or two and schedule these in advance. Your ride might not be the same as theirs, but there are still benefits to joining the group.
If group training is not possible, look for a positive online forum focused on your sport. Many exist on Facebook and some are specific to certain events and you can ask questions and share your thoughts. Remind yourself why you started training for this race in the first place and keep the end goal in mind.
Tony Hammett is the founder and head coach of the Peak Racing Team based in Atlanta, Ga.